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And here's the other part!! (Serious political post here)

Doctor What?
He says he’s a man of peace/But he walks in war

1st time

2nd time

3rd time

This is the episode where the harsh realities set in. In both The Pilot and Smile, the problems came more from accidents than maliciousness, and Bill - through her sleuthing and putting things together - works out that basically the Doctor runs about the universe helping people.

What that MEANS becomes clear here… People die. And sometimes (if the options are limited) the Doctor kills them. And it’s interesting the way the Doctor frames it:

DOCTOR: A few hours ago, we were standing in a garden full of dead people.
BILL: That was different.
BILL: They were dead already.
DOCTOR: Morally and practically, that is not a useful distinction. Unlearn it.
BILL: Don't tell me what to think.
DOCTOR: I'm your teacher. Telling you things is what I do.

It really, really helps that they already know each other well, that they have six months (minimum) of interactions under their belt. The Doctor is not a stranger to Bill, not a mysterious creature she has run off with on the spur of the moment, or out of curiosity. She is trying to broaden her understanding, make what she already know fit with what she is just discovering, not learning from scratch:

BILL: Have you ever killed anyone? There's a look in your eyes sometimes that makes me wonder. Have you?

He hesitates, tries to fudge the issue, but she demands an answer, and she gets one. And then of course he puts it into a wider context:

DOCTOR: You know what happens if I don't move on? More people die. There are kids living rough near here. They may well be next on the menu. Do you want to help me? Do you want to stand here stamping your foot? Because let me tell you something. I'm two thousand years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage.

Incidentally, I am SO HAPPY that the thing about ‘never having time for outrage’ was a set-up, because duuuuude:

BILL: No time for outrage. You've never had time for anything else, right?
DOCTOR: Don't be smug. Smug belongs to me.

If only she had met Ten… I’m still laughing.

Anyway, what happens next is wonderful.

DOCTOR: I don't know the answers. Only idiots know the answers. But if your future is built on the suffering of that creature, what's your future worth?
BILL: Why is it up to me?
DOCTOR: Because it can't be up to me. Your people, your planet. I serve at the pleasure of the human race, and right now, that's you. Give me an order. Not long till noon. I need an order.
(Long, long pause, then -)
BILL: Save her.
DOCTOR: I'll take care of this. You get everyone off the ice.

Now he may have forgotten Clara, but her lessons clearly made a deep, deep impact:

CLARA: Oh, don't you ever tell me to mind my language. Don't you ever tell me to take the stabilisers off my bike. And don't you dare lump me in with the rest of all the little humans that you think are so tiny and silly and predictable. You walk our Earth, Doctor, you breathe our air. You make us your friend, and that is your moon too. And you can damn well help us when we need it.
Kill the Moon

This episode might be the best Doctor-Companion dynamic we have ever seen, and hopefully the blueprint for the future. The dynamic has always been unequal; the Doctor having so much power, the Companion there by his grace.

But by giving the Companion the authority to direct and control that power, they are much more even. And that can only be a good thing, both in terms of keeping the Doctor in check, and in terms of letting the Companion shoulder some the responsibility. And they do it together, supporting each other.

We also see another way in which the Doctor has ‘moved on’:

BILL: Yeah. Travelling to the past, There's got to be rules. If I step on a butterfly, it could send ripples through time that mean I'm not even born in the first place and I could just disappear.
DOCTOR: Definitely. I mean, that's what happened to Pete.
BILL: Pete?
DOCTOR: Your friend, Pete. He was standing there a moment ago, but he stepped on a butterfly and now you don't even remember him.
BILL: Shut up! I'm being serious!
DOCTOR: Yeah, so was Pete.

Thin Ice

Now the interesting thing is that this almost exactly what happened to Rory. Not stepping on a butterfly, but the Doctor has walked beside a woman whose love had been erased out of time… The fact that he can now joke about it, speaks to how much *better* he is overall (i.e. not eaten up by guilt). Here is to hoping that he has learned not to blame himself for EVERYTHING.

What Clara did was take full responsibility for her life and her choices, and this might be another lesson that’s made a deep impact. ‘Duty of care’ doesn’t mean he can usurp other’s choices.

Although I must also mention what might be my favourite bonding moment so far:

BILL: So the Tardis has dresses and likes a bit of trouble? Yeah, I think I'm low-key in love with her.
DOCTOR: Me too.

It’s hard to think of a single thing more likely to make the Doctor adore Bill more. :)


I am aware of two cut scenes from Thin Ice. One is funny, the other makes me want to scream silently for along time...

And via Sarah Dollard’s Tumblr:

Go read her post for more insight. Personally I’m just going to roll up into a ball…



♥ ♥ ♥

Overall arc

In my ongoing ‘What is Moffat Doing This Season’ thoughts, this Tumblr Post sums it up quite well (the whole post is worth reading, but this is at the heart):

So far, it looks like Moffat has decided to use his final season on the show to revisit the first principles of the show, and compose a love letter to the glorious legacy of Doctor Who.

The Doctor reading stories to children (♥), the eternal grandfatherly hero, fits into that beautifully. As does Twelve’s wonderful, heartfelt speech later on - the Doctor always looks out for and protects those seen as ‘unimportant’.

Or as Amy put it:

AMY: So is this how it works, Doctor? You never interfere in the affairs of other peoples or planets, unless there's children crying?

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